No, it's not G-Force or G-Unit... I had mentioned cobayas at some point on this blog. Basically, it's Spanish for 'guinea pig,' and the term was applied to a sort of 'menu advisory board' that we put together of local food enthusiasts by our good friend, Frodesnor. The premise at the time was to simply hold 'meetings' in our restaurant while these local food bloggers gave us honest critiques and input on possible menu items. The tone was very casual and friendly, and we always received valuable insight as to 'what the people really want.'
Frodesnor took his Cobaya theme further by using the Google Group to become a launching pad where local chefs cooked off-site (preferrably) dinners of whatever they wanted, and members of the group paid online to later receive email information as to the location of the dinner. Not quite 'underground,' but a great forum for fusing people with food and ideas (quite a few cities can claim underground dinners, but cobayas are indigenous to Miami). Nothing of this is original in general, but the idea is fresh in Miami and the initial responses have been a welcoming breath of air in this depressing local economy. It has shown us that there are markets available where chefs can go no holds barred and hash out their whimsies. This is never a bad thing. It mainly proves that the interest is out there.
Our friend, Chef Jeremiah... the one and only Bullfrog Beatz, had the honor of doing the last dinner and took things up a notch. Much appreciation to him for letting Chef K and I sit in behind the scenes, drinking Heinekens, helping to plate here and there, and mostly just observing the logistics behind putting out such a dinner. Even on the drive back, we were already brainstorming the details behind putting out a dinner of our own. We made some good connections, and hopefully we'll be able to promote some of our own branded dinners very soon into the near future.
Bullfrog's dinner was posted on a few local blogs and sites, but I'll mainly direct you to Frodesnor's post which always contain links to the other sites. Meanwhile, to add to the buzz here are some shots that we took from a kitchen point of view...
straining with Chef K
beef jus dripping in a chemex